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John George Braecklein

Architect (1865-1958)

Scroggs House and St. John's Orphange, Kansas CityJohn George Braecklein was born in New York City on September 18, 1865, but his family returned to Leavenworth, KS in 1866.>

J.G. Braecklein studied architecture at both Harvard and Yale in 1884 and 1885. He began his architectural career in 1885 working as a draftsman for Henry Probst and James Bannon. Braecklein began his own practice in 1887 in Kansas City, Kansas. His first commission was for the design of a large, Queen Anne style home of brick for Mrs. John B. Scroggs at 4th and Ann (RHKP).

By 1888 Braecklein had moved his home and office to Kansas City, Missouri where he primarily worked and lived for the next 28 years. Soon after this move Braecklein was commissioned for one of his most significant works, the Heist Building at 724 Main Street. This building was the tallest building in Kansas City when it was completed in 1889 and it was the city’s first skyscraper. Following the Heist Building Braecklein overtook another major project in his career, the Cordova Hotel at 12th and Pennsylvania.

Despite his successes Braecklein left for Chicago in 1890 and was employed by multiple architecture firms, assisting in the planning for several of the World’s Fair Buildings. Due to a declining economy Braecklein began working as a draftsman once again in 1895. By 1897 he was re-established as an independent architect.

By 1900 Braecklein had become known for his architectural and design work on houses, apartment flats and small commercial buildings. For a short time Braecklein’s commercial work increased in scale. In 1922 he had three major projects next to one another along 7th Street: The Federal Reserve Life Insurance Company Building, The Getty Building, and the twelve-story Ellis Club Building.

Braecklein’s last recorded architectural commission had come in 1934 after which he was retired until 1939. In 1956 he suffered a stroke but recovered. Braecklein passed away in his home on October 7, 1958, at the age of 93.

Entry: Braecklein, John George

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: January 2013

Date Modified: June 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.